The Centrality of Translation to the Humanities: New Interdisciplinary Scholarship
“The Centrality of Translation to the Humanities: New Interdisciplinary Scholarship” is a three-week institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for twenty-five participants (including three doctoral students) examining the nature of translation and its place in the humanities. The institute is premised on a vision of translation as a profoundly creative and scholarly act which builds bridges across times and cultures, opening new possibilities for texts and their readers. In the college curriculum, translation is hiding in plain sight. Not only do we teach many texts in translation, but our reading of every text is deeply affected by a complex history of reception, adaptation, and re-translation.
Our purpose is to offer college teachers of history, literature, philosophy, religion, and multi-disciplinary core humanities courses (e.g., topical freshman seminars, great books courses, world culture surveys) the opportunity to enrich our understanding of the texts we teach. Participants will examine key questions in Biblical hermeneutics, study the retranslation and reinterpretation of Sigmund Freud and Rainer Maria Rilke, and explore the role of translation in the rise of a 20th century, Inter-American literature centered on such figures as Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez. Through these cases, the participants study translation as a scholarly craft and cultural dynamic, exploring its historical, philosophical, poetic and political dimensions.
The institute is also designed to support participants to develop a case study of their own, related to their areas of expertise. Time has been built in for research—UIUC boasts the third-largest university library in the country—and discussion of work-in-progress. The institute includes a visit to the Dalkey Archive Press on the UIUC campus (a leading publisher of fiction in translation and works about translation), and a trip to Chicago, featuring a meeting with representatives of the Goethe Institute, internationally known for its dynamic cultural program in translation.
Institute co-directors are Elizabeth Lowe, Director of the Center for Translation Studies and Chris Higgins, a philosopher and associate professor in the College of Education. Project faculty include Valerie Hotchkiss (UIUC Libraries and Department of Religious Studies), Joyce Tolliver (UIUC Departments of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese and Gender and Women’s Studies), Gregory Rabassa (winner of the National Book Award for his famed translation of García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude), Suzanne Jill Levine (University of California at Santa Barbara, key translator of the Latin American Boom), David Rosenberg (Princeton University, poet and author of a series of radical retranslations of the Hebrew Bible), Adam Phillips (noted psychoanalytic essayist and editor of a new translation of Freud), William Gass (novelist, philosopher, critic, and author of the pathbreaking Reading Rilke, 2000), and Rainer Schulte (University of Texas at Dallas, leading figure in translation theory, practice, and education, founder of Translation Review).
Dates: July 6-27, 2013 (3 weeks)
Grantee Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Location: Urbana, Illinois
Center for Translation Studies
7076 South Mathews
4080 FLB MC 171
Urbana, Illinois 61801-3625